350+ patients settle lawsuit with Pennsylvania hospital over fugitive physician's misdiagnoses

West Chester (Ohio) Hospital recently settled lawsuits with hundreds of patients who were treated by a former physician who has since fled the country, according to court documents and sources obtained by WLWT5 News.

Here are four things to know:

1. The lawsuits center around Atiq Durrani, MD, who is accused by police of performing unnecessary surgeries and billing Medicare millions of dollars in fraudulent charges. More than 500 legal battles have been waged against him, the report states.

2. According to WLWT5 News, the U.S. attorney's office said that between February 2010 and late January 2013, Dr. Durrani convinced scores of patients that surgery was their only option, even when patients did not require any procedures. The practice resulted in Dr. Durrani fraudulently billing Medicare $12 million.

3. West Chester Hospital has settled with more than 350 of Dr. Durrani's former patients; however, the dollar amount of that settlement has not been disclosed. Six former patients filed a federal lawsuit against the hospital and Dr. Durrani. The portion of the case concerning the hospital has been settled, but the lawsuit against the orthopedic surgeon is in the middle of trial.

4. The U.S. attorney general's office said Dr. Durrani is a permanent resident of the U.S. and a citizen of Pakistan. He began conducting surgery at hospitals in the greater Cincinnati area in 2009. Dr. Durrani has reportedly fled to Pakistan, where is he has allegedly performed more surgeries. It is unlikely he will be extradited to the U.S.

To access the full report, click here.

More articles on legal and regulatory issues:
Physician sentenced to 5 months in prison for obstructing Medicare audit
Advocacy group sues Arizona State Hospital over patient record access
Texas hospital asks judge to dismiss Aetna's claims in billing suit

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